15TH ARMY CORPS, HANKINSON'S FERRY,
18 MILES FROM GRAND GULF, May 9, 1863.
One week after hammering away at Haines' Bluff I got here and overtook Grant's army, having marched eighty-three miles and crossed the Mississippi. We are short of wagons and provisions, but in this starving country we find an abundance of corn, hogs, cattle, sheep, and poultry. Men who came in advance have drawn but two days' rations in ten and are fat. Tomorrow I march to Big Sandy, nine miles. Next day to Auburn fifteen miles, and we will then be within striking distance of the railroad running east from Vicksburg. The enemy must come out to fight us soon or we will be in their rear. The army is in good condition and if they fight us we will have a desperate one. Grant was delighted to see me, and everything works well. . . .
SOURCES: M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Editor, Home Letters of General Sherman, p. 260. A full copy of this letter can be found in the William T Sherman Family papers (SHR), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556, Folder CSHR 2/04.